Step by step, I wonder into Launchpad (618 Central SW), each foot coming closer and closer to what seems to be a natural unison. I'm late as usual, but the wave of approaching sound sends my brain into an anticipatory flutter. The clamorous BOOM of drums begin to flow into the veins of the ground, straight through my arteries and directly into my heart like I'm mainlining each crash and thump as burning metal into my veins. As the last foot reaches it's destination, I realize exactly what I've stumbled into. It takes a moment, an isolated, but rewarding moment, to realize I'm in a pit of sonic obliteration.
As I look towards the stage, I see three figures, covered from head to toe in scarlet – almost silhouettes – taking the idea of sound to an increasingly devastating level. An explosion is occurring, right before my very eyes, in the form of a human named Terri Gender-Bender. She sways and screams, she strums her guitar like an accelerating hot rod burning off the flesh of god; she rocks! Along with Terri, Jamie Aaron Aux handles bass and Chris Common plays the sticks. It's a finale, a consequence of my tardiness, but it's all I needed to hear, to understand. It's an aural bomb and I'm riding each sonic boom with full cooperation, all the way into the apocalypse.
The band quakes in unison to a litany of head bangs and devil horns, offering sacrifice like appeasement for the immensity before them.
As the last note bends itself into forced cooperation and the feedback of the amps release all the demons everyone was holding in that night, Le Butcherettes finish their set and receive a loud cheer from the crowd. I watch them walk away into the dimly lit background of the alley. I stand in absolute amazement of what I just heard. It's hard to believe that great rock n roll, in it's true trail-blazing form, still exists on planet earth. But I witnessed it first hand, in the form of Le Butcherettes.
The noise dies down and I hit the wall like gravity intends me to. Observing the crowd, I feel a certain camaraderie. The show attracts a variety of black-haired lion manes and sweat soaked battle jackets with scars of experience you couldn't count on one hand. But no matter what the musical affiliation or statement of fashion, we are all there for the same reason. A reason that binds our brains and hearts into motion, anticipating the unadulterated and refined crunch of what is to come. As I begin to delve into the analytic recesses of my mind, I hear the music halt, and a cough-like noise begins to fill the building. It's a sound loop, a repeating exertion of human reflex, as if clearing a palette. I recognize it as the cough from Black Sabbath's “Sweet Leaf” – the song begins to play as I see a robed man take the stage.
Two more men, with sticks and bass, take their rightful places on stage. What appears to be the eye of Horus – patterned into gold on the robed mans black cloak – stares into the crowd, as if to observe the worthy and destroy the undeserving. Aleister Crowley comes to mind, a powerful charisma surrounds the stage. Then a sound, distant at first, grows into a overwhelming cloud of distorted catastrophe. The deep CRUNCH of the first chord sprays black all over my red veins and I know exactly where I am. I know exactly what this is. This is the FUCKING MELVINS!
Buzz Osbourne displays a concentrated focus, Dale Crover begins his smash into oblivion one ball- blasting beat at a time. Jeff Pinkus raises his shivering metal bass into the air, guiding the increasingly kinetic headbanging in the crowd. The crowd thickens near the stage, and and the transformation process begins. First it's a few, then more and finally many begin to scream, sweat and convulse in awkward and intense unison. We continue, forming a sludge as we come together in our love for the brutalization of eardrums and bodies. The sludge grows thicker and thicker, and from each chord comes a melting wave of music that forces our nervous systems to disconnect from our heads – shaking those motherfucking skulls like we're trying to rattle a pick out from the body of an acoustic guitar.
My feet shake and my head bangs. They don't stop for one blinding moment, not even when Buzz Osbourne breaks the sonic wall for a cover of the Butthole Surfers “Moving to Florida.” As Osbourne shouts “And I'm gonna build me the Atomic...” we all scream “BOMB!” in anticipation. He waits, and whispers “bomb”, breaking back into the bass-blasting segments of the song, and demonstrating a masterful understanding of the music surrounding him.
Osbourne shreds, Crover blasts, Pinkus pounds and the show winds down to the last song. Jumping from the shadows like the blast of a supernova, Terri-Gender-Bender enters, immediately breaking into what seems to be an interpretative dance to summon the spirits of punk and metal. She aids the Melvins in building the climax of the show. With one last blast of soul and energy, the show ends with Osbourne saluting the crowd like the commander in-chief of sonic crunch.
They all leave their instruments on, generating deafening feedback to drop us all down from the musical high that had been keeping us up for hours. Dale Crover is the last to leave. Like the proverbial bridesmaid catching the bouquet on her best friend's wedding day, I jump into the air to catch the drumstick he throws to the crowd.
I didn't catch it and fumbled with it as it flew to the ground. But I fought for it and came out victorious with a new souvenir of one of the best shows I've been to in a really, really long time. As the band leaves and the crowd dissipates, I walk straight towards to the door, drumstick clutched in hand.
I stroll to the parking lot, attempting to regain my serious loss of hearing, I reflect on the show. So many other people have seen this band, and they have played a myriad of cities and venues. But I now have my own triumphal moment. In the back of my mind, I know – with the utmost pride and certainty – that even if it's just a fragment of the bands long prolific history, I got rocked the fuck out by the Melvins.
“Someday you’ll be looking back on your life/ At the memories, this is gonna be one of those nights”. Yep, Grammy Award-winning Tim McGraw sums it up pretty darn well. The “Shotgun Rider Tour” made a stop at Isleta Amphitheater (5601 University Blvd. SE) on Friday night with Chase Bryant, Billy Currington and Tim McGraw and it was definitely one of those nights.
The sold out venue was packed with all manner of people, from rhinestone-bedazzled country girls straight out of a Shepler’s catalogue to emo kids with weird hair--the buzzing crowd showed that country certainly ain’t just for farm hands and mountain folk anymore.
Chase Bryant was up first at 7pm, looking like he just came from a preppy frat party but getting the crowd going with his hit single “Take It On Back”. While still relatively new to the scene, the Nashville native is definitely one to watch and even made Rolling Stone Magazine's list of “10 Country Artists You Need to Know”. Either way it looked like he was having a blast as he got the crowd standing and cranked away on a mustard-yellow Gibson Les Paul.
As anyone who has ever been to a concert knows, the time between sets is usually pretty boring and is only good for making a run to the beer tent. However, the speakers and giant screens kept the crowd entertained with ridiculously goofy ED and anti-depressant ad spoofs with Tim McGraw concerts as the “cure”. I laughed, I cried, I sang.
As the temperature finally cooled down, the music got hotter with Billy Currington taking the stage and playing an energetic 13-song setlist that included hilarious “Pretty Good at Drinkin’ Beer”, sexy “Must Be Doin’ Something Right” and a country version of “Uptown Funk” complete with coordinated moves from the band that had the crowd going wild. Repping his 6th album, Summer Forever, which was released last week, Currington more than fulfilled his duty in getting the crowd pumped.
Just as darkness fell over the sweating city, with a thundering intro and fans’ ear-piercing screams even louder than the speakers, McGraw blasted into his set with the 1999 classic “Something Like That.” “Truck Yeah” was up next amid the glow of thousands of smartphones being held up in the air. McGraw kept the energy high, bouncing between beloved older tunes like “Just to See You Smile” and newer favorites like “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools”. Wearing his trademark black hat and tight jeans, he lived up to his title as a Country Music Icon and Top Male performer.
The encore was so awesome even Mother Nature cried with McGraw’s first single from 1994, “Indian Outlaw”, bringing on a dash of rain and some serious rain dancing. What a show! But if you missed it, don’t worry--according to a recent interview, McGraw says he’ll be working ‘til he’s 100 to keep the ladies in his family happy so he’ll certainly make it back to Burque.
Tyler, the Creator, rapper, Supreme Clothing sponsor, skater, and oft-called leader of the multi-artist collaboration Odd Future Wolf Gang (OFWGKTA), makes a stop at Albuquerque's Sunshine Theater this evening, June 1st.
For the uninitiated, most of Tyler's songs start out with a fire intro that would likely offend your friendly old neighbors and make you want to rage dance around your house; then come fast paced rap verses leading into a chorus that usually features another well known artist. “Shocking” is a term often used to describe Tyler's subject matter, often quickly followed by paradoxical descriptors like “smart”. One local fan says "Tyler is an interesting individual, who hides his problems deep within his music for his fans to uncover." Tyler's music emerges from his everyday life —on his 3rd album Bastard, for example, he recorded a session with his therapist and made it into a track. If Tyler is a scion of today's urban youth culture with an extremely large fan base, the rapper has an equal number of critics who call him disrespectful, rude, and crude. In fact he probably has an equal amount of critics entirely due to his use of the term “faggot” alone (Tyler has repeatedly said in interviews that he has no hatred for gays). In response to his detractors, Tyler says "I'm not an asshole, I just don't give a fuck a lot." Works for me.
During this 2015-2016 tour Tyler, the Creator will be playing 44 concerts all over the United States. Tonight's crowd at the Sunshine should likely expect to hear much of his newest album, Cherry Bomb, in addition to his older and most popular tracks like "Domo23", "Tamale", and "Yonkers". Don't miss a golden opportunity to see this cutting edge hip-hop/rap artist in Albuquerque. With him will be special guest Taco, who is known to warm the crowd up while everyone awkwardly dances to trap music (picture lots of white kids 'dancing' to Waka Flocka Flame.) Doors open at 7pm and admission is 27.50. Be there.
What's better than sampling craft beers and getting down with some butt-kicking blues bands on a three-day weekend? Nothing! See local acts on three stages including Alex Maryol while you sip suds of all varieties at the Sandia Resort & Casino. Enjoy games, raffles and prize drawings.
This event is 21 and over. Click here for more info and to purchase tickets. Prost!